Performance Enhancing Eating

By Sherry Clewlow

Sherry is an international food and eating behaviour expert and award winning chef and speaker. Her refreshing perspective on why and how eating well is so vital to our wellness focuses on "Performance Enhancing Eating".

The Ten Traits of Highly Healthy Humans

Health as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) is not just about the absence of disease but refers to the quality of life we have. The following list has been compiled based on my life experience and studies over the last 20 years. It is what I believe is common in the Highly Healthy Humans I have observed and emulated. Consider it a banquet of ideas, partake of what suits your mental palate, savour, enjoy and digest what you need and ‘leave what you don’t like’.

  1. Increase plant food consumption – The jury is out and the scientific proof from several international studies concludes the healthiest and most protective thing to do for your body is to increase the amount and variety of minimally processed plant foods consumed. Why? What they used to call non-nutrients namely the colours and flavours in plants are now called phytochemicals which are naturally occurring chemicals found in plants. These phytochemicals are some of the most powerfully protective substances on the planet that assist in the prevention of cancer, heart disease and many other illnesses. Plant foods are more than simply preventative, they contribute to great quality of life as you eat them assisting in energizing, hydrating, protecting and healing the body with immediate benefits.
  2. Hydrate your body – water is vital but the bottle variety is not the only source, plant foods that are high in water are a fabulous source as the water in fresh fruits and vegetables not only hydrates but nourishes and cleanses as it moves through and energizes your body. Tip* a simple way to start is by having fruit on hand, fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices and having a tasty salad with each meal.
  3. Move your body – weight loss is a poor long-term motivator to keep you keeping fit. There are hundreds of much more empowering reasons to exercise. Find the ways to move your body that are in keeping with what you enjoy and works for your body. Start with walking whenever you get the chance it is more powerful than you think. It clears the mind, prevents depression and gets you out breathing which is all part of health and vitality.
  4. Deal with your stuff – we don’t like to hear it but most of us have stuff! Emotional issues require attention, if you haven’t dealt with the traumas and difficulties from your past they will result in negative energy stored in your body. Anger, resentment, depression and any form of negativity are signs you may need assistance. Read the right books and seek help from professionals that have had success with a broad range of individuals or specialists if your problem is specific. Shop around and find someone you are compatible with which is different from choosing someone who is telling you what you want to hear. A good sign that a form of therapy is effective is if they challenge you which means you may experience discomfort but you leave feeling better than when you arrived and you leave with practical proactive ways of dealing with your issues.
  5. Rest your body – get the right amount of sleep and learn to take time out to relax. Massage, baths, picnics, sitting enjoying scenery, restful leisure time, mild exercise and uplifting reading are all ways to rejuvenate your body and mind.
  6. Limit the damage to your body. Contaminants, sun, alcohol, negative information, cigarettes and exposure to chemicals. This can mean moderation in everything, buying organic, wearing hats and sunscreen, sipping versus drinking alcoholic drinks, limiting exposure to negative news, and using less cleaning chemicals.
  7. Lift your spirit and engage your heart – through gratitude, adventure, laughing and having fun, helping others, random acts of anonymous generosity, reading inspiring books, watching uplifting movies and looking for ways to express love.
  8. Enjoy the company of others – social connectedness is on the decline. Studies have shown positive connections to families and communities contribute to our health. Find avenues to connect in a meaningful way with people of all ages. This can be family you have been born with or family you acquire in the way of friends, people you help, people you admire or people who have helped you. Share a meal, go for a walk, tackle a project together, take turns reading to each other, cook together or exchange life stories that have shaped you. It is the simple to the complex connections that weave the fabric of society, the quality and strength of that fabric is determined by the input of each one of us, the strength of that fabric will determine how well we as a community stand up to adversity and tough times.
  9. Continue to learn – exercise your brain and keep it fit, challenging your mind is exercise for the brain. In any field of endeavour there is always more to learn whether it is your chosen career or a hobby you have outside work there are so many exciting things to learn on this planet, not even the sky is the limit.
  10. Find a purpose bigger than you – purpose in life drives us and satisfies the soul. When you are part of something bigger than yourself and you are making a positive contribution to it, the benefits to your body mind and spirit are enormous. This can be satisfied by doing volunteer work for a cause you value, starting a business that is of service to the community, mentoring someone in an area you have achieved in, helping someone you believe is making a difference or exploring your spirituality.
For more information on Sherry visit the Food Lovers Workshop at